Over-the-top sports streaming service DAZN and pay-TV heavyweight Sky Italia have reportedly upped their bids to retain domestic rights to Italian men’s soccer’s top-tier Serie A for up to five seasons.

Citing people familiar with the matter, news outlet Bloomberg said the combined bids from both parties are now worth a total of €4.5 billion ($4.74 billion) over five seasons.

Those sources said DAZN has submitted a guaranteed minimum bid of roughly €700 million per season to cover the league, and Sky is offering €200 million for each campaign. That combined total would move the total figure close to the €1 billion mark which Serie A has set as its expected value.

Bloomberg has also reported that these submissions from Sky and DAZN are worth slightly more than their previous bids.

Currently, DAZN holds the majority of live Serie A rights through the 2021-24 cycle, having struck a deal to that effect in March 2021. It covers seven games live per week exclusively, and the other three on a co-exclusive basis alongside Sky.

The streaming platform's current contract is worth a total of €2.5 billion, while Sky pays an average of €87.5 million per season for its rights package. Presently, Sky and DAZN between them pay €927.5 million annually.

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By GlobalData

The tender process to allocate domestic media rights for the next Serie A cycle has been dragging on for some months now, with the league’s assembly expected to review offers from broadcasters at a meeting on October 23.

The tender was originally issued in late May, with the league then having held private negotiations with three broadcasters – likely to have been Sky, DAZN, and commercial network MediaForEurope (formerly Mediaset).

In the invitation to tender, broadcasters can bid to acquire rights for three, four, or five seasons from 2024-25. The ITT features a total of eight packages with “different configurations.”

Italian communications regulator AGCOM and antitrust body AGCM have both given the green light for Serie A to sell its domestic broadcast rights over a five-year cycle, which it has not been able to do in the past.

The packages include exclusive and co-exclusive options for the league’s 10 weekly matches, as well as an opportunity for a free-to-air game on Saturday evenings.

Serie A’s overseas rights sales process is also taking place currently, having got underway in August.

That process has initially begun with a tender having been issued for rights across Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.

The league is focusing more on handling negotiations with international broadcasters itself for the upcoming cycle, as opposed to using an agency – as has been the case over previous years.